Kenzo Folio #1 Short Film Celebrates Igbo Culture

Celebrating life is very much ingrained in the fabric of West African iconography.

In the midst of celebrations within the Igbo communities of Nigeria, KENZO have launched a unique project showcasing their Summer 2017 collection.

#Folio1: Gidi Gidi Bu Ugwu Uze translated as ‘Unity is Strength’ gives a vivacious unveiling of Kenzo’s new zine; a beautiful accompaniment to their SS17 collection, bringing to life the brands appreciation of African textile and print. Kenzo have collaborated with an array of creatives on the new quarterly publication, that intends to incorporate their clothing into realistic situations. It will take from the brands love of fashion film to bring deeper meaning to each of their collections, in the form of editorial. Kenzo have handpicked hot young filmmakers and actors to breathe life and a story into the clothes we see on display.

Creative directors of Kenzo, Carol Lim and Humberto Lim stay true once again to the overlooked realities of culture and community. Exhibited in their previous project scenario with ‘Lemonade’ director Kahlil Joseph, the thought-provoking narration relied on the acting chops of activist Jesse Williams and Black-ish’s Tracee Ellis Ross.

Celebrating the #KenzoFolio launch in London, NTS radio came live and direct last night streaming the event online with headline fire bars from UK female rapper Ms Banks. Exhibited as #Folio1, this is a compilation celebrating the street culture of Nigeria’s Igbo youth.

‘Unity is Strength’ is another level of genius from Kenzo. Curated by the refreshing talents of Nigerian descent, director Akinola Davies Jr and dual heritage photographer Ruth Ossai, the duo showcase the vibrance of the Igbo tribe Nsukka. Blending photography and film together to give an animated storytelling of “young black Igbo beauty”, Folio1’s short film features ladies, joyously united, literally dancing to the beat of their own drum in full celebratory costume. As for the photographs? The photos take inspiration from Africa’s market and salon posters, that parade a plethora of braiding styles and garments from best tailors in town.

Commonly recognised for their love of orange statement beading, flutes and cultivation of beautiful women, the Igbo community is the offspring of tradition, pomp and creativity. The charming youngsters of the short-film, with no previous acting experience, give us a raw insight.

Mounted on motorcycles, adorned with pageant crowns, props, headscarves and Kenzo’s SS17 staple geometric prints, the clique profile the Igbo street life. Like an unfiltered brochure, displaying Nigeria’s multi-coloured authenticity and flair. Take it or leave it.

Unity really is strength for the Igbo tribe, and the youth gave it to us without compromise!

Highlights of the launch can be found on NTS radio and be sure to check out the Folio exhibition in Kenzo’s London flagship store, which draws a close on 10th May.